• GPS-Carrying Rat Snakes Monitor Radiation at Fukushima

    Scientists found a new way to keep track of radiation level at the Fukushima Exclusion Zone: rat snakes, which are common in Japan. The snakes’ limited movement and close contact with contaminated soil are key factors in their ability to reflect the varying levels of contamination in the zone.

  • Studying Spent-Fuel Canister to Support Long-Term Storage

    Nuclear waste is stored in more than sixty dry-cask storage sites in thirty-four states. These facilities store the majority of the more than 90,000 metric tons of nuclear waste in the United States, including nearly 80,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel.

  • Iran's Uranium Metal Production Concerns U.S.

    Report issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna to member nations noted inspectors have confirmed Iran produced 200 grams of uranium metal enriched up to 20 percent. Uranium metal can be used to build the core of a nuclear bomb.

  • Parasites Fight Chemical and Biological Weapons

    Harnessing parasites to help soldiers and first responders counter chemical and biological weapon attacks in war zones.

  • International Nuclear Forensics Group Examines Nuclear Security Challenges

    The Nuclear Forensics International Technical Working Group (ITWG) was established in 1995 when nuclear materials were being smuggled out of the former Soviet Union and into Europe. Last month the ITWG held its annual meeting virtually.

  • Path Towards a Global Pathogen Early Warning System

    The world’s ability to detect, track, and analyze disease threats has improved considerably over the past several decades, the COVID-19 pandemic drove home a terrible reality: the systems we had in place are still deeply insufficient for halting the rapid spread of a novel pathogen fast enough to prevent a staggering level of damage. 

  • A First: 3D Printed Nuclear Reactor Components Now Installed at a Nuclear Plant

    3D-printed fuel assembly brackets have been installed and are now under routine operating conditions at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant Unit 2 in Athens, Alabama.

  • DHS S&T Selects Two Industry Partners for Second Phase Wildland Fire Sensor Research

    DHS S&T selected two industry partners for the second phase of research on wildland fire sensor. The first phase research was conducted in June 2021, and the next phase of the program will focus on hardening the sensors for longer-term field deployments.

  • Imaging Tool under Development Reveals Concealed Detonators — and Their Charge

    A Sandia Lab researcher is working on building a new kind of neutron-based imaging system which will enable people to safely examine sealed metal boxes when opening them could be dangerous, whether this is because inside is an explosive weapon or a malfunctioning, high-voltage fire set at a missile range.

  • Ensuring Reliability of Air Cargo Screening Systems

    DHS, which is responsible for ensuring the security of air cargo transported to the United States, says the threat from explosives in air cargo remains significant. A new GAO report addresses how DHS secures inbound air cargo, and the extent to which TSA’s field assessment of a CT screening system included key practices for design and evaluation.

  • Investigating Materials for Safe, Secure Nuclear Power

    A longstanding interest in radiation’s effects on metals has drawn Michael Short into new areas such as nuclear security and microreactors.

  • Handheld Screening Wands May Reduce Need for Airport Pat-Downs

    Until recently, creating an effective and reliable handheld screening technology of passengers was too costly. Advancements made in 5G cell phones, automotive radars, embedded computing, and other critical enabling technologies now make screening solutions such as the handheld millimeter wave wand cost effective.

  • Protecting the U.S. against WMD

    The Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) office was established within DHS in December 2018 to address the challenge of WMD. GAO has reviewed how the CWMD office manages programs intended to enhance the U.S. ability to detect, deter, and defend against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats.

  • The U.S. Army Tried Portable Nuclear Power at Remote Bases 60 Years Ago – It Didn’t Go Well

    The U.S. military’s Camp Century was a series of tunnels built into the Greenland ice sheet and used for both military research and scientific projects. The military boasted that the nuclear reactor there, known as the PM-2A, needed just 44 pounds of uranium to replace a million or more gallons of diesel fuel. Heat from the reactor ran lights and equipment and allowed the 200 or so men at the camp as many hot showers as they wanted in that brutally cold environment. The PM-2A was the third child in a family of eight Army reactors, several of them experiments in portable nuclear power.

  • Is it a Virus or Bacteria? New Tech Rapidly Tests for Pathogens

    The first line of defense against pandemics is the ability quickly to detect the presence or absence of previously unknown pathogens. DHS S&T is exploring a new technology that can discriminate between bacterial and viral infections using only a single drop of blood per patient.